Testament - one of the big beasts of Thrash metal are back with their latest album - Dark roots of Earth. In the almost 30 years since the band was formed, Testament have released a steady stream of quality thrash albums, although there was a dip in form for a few years. The bands last album (The formation of damnation) heralded a welcome return to their top form and means that expectations for the new album are high.
Produced by Sabbat and Hell Guitarist, Andy Sneap (who has also produced albums by bands including Arch Enemy, Accept, Exodus and many more), this album features Gene Hoglan back with the band and on drums for the first time since 1997.
Brief comments on a few tracks
Opening with some heavy crushing riffs right from the start, opening track "Rise up" is a clear indication that the new album is more than going to live up to the high standard set by "Formation of Damnation"
"True American hate" is fast, powerful and has Chuck Billy sounding really pissed off and aggressive. Definitely a song that I really want to hear played live.
"Cold Embrace" is a track that stands out with its bluesy acoustic guitar opening. The song is slow and melodic, with more powerful and aggressive secions included that makes sure you remember this is Testament, not a rock band doing a ballad. This slower track also serves to emphasise the power and speed of the rest of the album. It's a great track - one of my favourites on the album.
If you buy the deluxe edition digipack then you get cover versions of songs by Queen, Iron Maiden and The Scorpions - now that's a nice incentive to get the deluxe version.
This is an absolutely fantastic thrash album that's going to give the other big thrash bands a run for their money. A definitely "must buy" for all thrash fans.
Dark roots of earth will be released on 30th July via Nuclear Blast
Track listing :
1. Rise Up
2. Native Blood
3. Dark Roots Of Earth
4. True American Hate
5. A Day In The Death
6. Cold Embrace
7. Man Kills Mankind
8. Throne Of Thornes
9. Last Stand For Independence
Additional Bonus Tracks (Deluxe CD/DVD, 2LP):
10. Dragon Attack (QUEEN Cover)
11. Animal Magnetism (SCORPIONS Cover)
12. Powerslave (IRON MAIDEN Cover)
13. Throne Of Thorns (Extended Cut)*not on 2LP
Making Of // Breakdown of writing style and process, working with Gene Hoglan again, being together for over 25 years // Live footage of classic tracks